Investigating issues of environmental injustice in neighborhoods surrounding parks

Allison A. Parsons, Gina M. Besenyi, Andrew T. Kaczynski, Sonja A. Wilhelm Stanis, Christine E. Blake, Daheia J. Barr-Anderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Parks are important resources for facilitating community health. Using an environmental justice framework, this study in Kansas City, Missouri examined disparities by income and race/ethnicity for bordering land uses, densities of incivilities (e.g., vandalism, litter), unhealthy retail establishments in neighborhoods surrounding parks. Low and medium income and high minority park neighborhoods were more likely to be surrounded by higher densities of incivilities and to have a moderate density of FF restaurants. Low-income park neighborhoods were five times more likely to have a moderate density of other unhealthy establishments compared to parks in high-income areas. Future research and environmental justice efforts should explore policies that reduce unhealthy characteristics of park neighborhoods to encourage increased usage of these important community settings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)285-303
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Leisure Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2015


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